A white manager of an Indianapolis apartment complex has been put on administrative leave after she asked a black resident who was by the complex’s pool to leave the area.
Widely shared video footage of the encounter, posted on Twitter on July 6, shows a white woman, identified on camera as an off-duty police officer working as security, standing over the man while he is near the pool at the River Crossing at Keystone apartment complex.
In response to a query, the man, Shayne Holland, 23, shows the officer his key to indicate that he lives at the complex, and that he can be at the pool. The officer reiterates that she has asked him for his address. She is then joined by a white apartment manager, who confirms in the video that Mr. Holland is a resident.
But the situation escalates further.
“You didn’t answer her question,” the manager, referring to the off-duty officer, can be heard telling Mr. Holland.
“Why do I need to give this lady who I don’t know my address?” Mr. Holland responds in the video.
The apartment manager tells him that the pool area is “being regulated” and is “only for residents.” The off-duty officer states in the video that she is there as security for the complex, and snatches Mr. Holland’s key out of his hand.
Mr. Holland says that he feels uncomfortable, repeats that his key should confirm his residency and says that he does not know the officer.
The apartment manager, who appears to be on a first-name basis with Mr. Holland in the video, notes that a “sign says I can ask anybody to leave at any time” and calls Mr. Holland “ridiculous.”
Mr. Holland says that he does not understand why he has to provide his address in addition to having displayed his key.
“I’m asking you to leave right now,” the manager says.
Reached on Thursday, Mr. Holland declined to comment further on the encounter, citing advice from his lawyer. According to The Indianapolis Star, the officer is a member of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. She has not been publicly identified. A request for comment from the police department was not immediately answered on Thursday.
In a statement posted to its Facebook page, Barrett and Stokely Inc., the company that manages the apartment complex, said the apartment manager had been placed on “administrative leave” as the encounter is investigated. She has not been publicly identified.
“We are disappointed that we weren’t able to handle this situation in a way in which everyone felt respected and understood,” the statement said. “We should have communicated with all residents that we would have security on site, who would be asking for proof of residency.”
Company officials did not respond to further requests for comment on Thursday.
The incident follows several high-profile confrontations between white people and black people who are engaging in everyday activities, including several at pools. Many of them have been popularized by hashtags — the Indianapolis encounter has been tagged as #SwimmingSheriffSusie, in apparent reference to the off-duty officer.
In Memphis, a white manager of an apartment complex was fired after she called the police on a black man wearing socks in the pool on the Fourth of July.
In North Carolina, a white man was fired by his employer, a major international packaging supplier, after he demanded identification from a black woman at a private community pool on the Fourth of July and called the police when she refused.
In South Carolina, a white woman was charged with assault after she attacked a 15-year-old black boy at a neighborhood pool, telling him and his friends that they had to “get out” or she would call 911.